The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has received 28 applications for the e-auction of the first batch of Phase III FM Radio channels. This first batch of Phase III auctions comprises of 135 FM radio channels across 69 cities.

These 28 applicants have submitted a total of Rs 316.91 crore as Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). Each application will be scrutinised based on the requirements stipulated in the Notice Inviting Application (NIA), which was released earlier this month, after which a list of pre-qualified bidders will be released. To learn more about the pre-qualification process, reserve price and more check here and here.

Note that all pre-qualified bidders will have to procure Class-III Digital Signature Certificates for signing and encryption issued by any valid Certifying Authority (approved by Controller of Certifying Authorities) in India, which is mandatory for accessing the platform the auction will be carried out on, Electronic Auction System (EAS).

The 28 applicants are:

– The Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd
– DB Corp Ltd
– Shahi Shipping Ltd
– AM Television Pvt Ltd
– Odisha Television Ltd
– Pratidin FM Pvt Ltd
– Next Radio Ltd
– Pudhari Publications Pvt Ltd
– Venus Autoworks Pvt Ltd
– Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd
– Renderlive Films & Entertainment Pvt Ltd
– Entertainment Network (India) Ltd
– Music Broadcast Pvt ltd
– Abhijit Realtors & Infraventures Pvt Ltd
– HT Media Limited
– Rajasthan Patrika Pvt Ltd
– Sarthak Films Pvt Ltd
– Embassy Nirman Pvt. Ltd
– Malar Publications Ltd
– Nirmal Sagar Buildcon Pvt Ltd
– Kal Radio Ltd
– South Asia FM Limited
– Sun TV Network Ltd
– Digital Radio (Delhi) Broadcasting Ltd
– Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcasting Ltd
– Abir Buildcon Pvt Ltd
– Remi Overseas Pvt Ltd, Agra
– Sunplant broadcasting Pvt Ltd

It’s worth noting that late last year, Jagran Prakashan Limited had received board approval to acquire Music Broadcast Private Ltd (MBPL), which operates the radio network Radio City 91.1 FM. MBPL is one of the applicants for the Phase III FM auctions. The acquisition was subject to regulatory approvals, including from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Interestingly, last year, Radio City CEO Apurva Purohit had told The Economic Times that they are planning to open 20 new stations after the Phase III auctions.

In February this year, TV Today Network had sold 7 stations of Oye FM to Entertainment Network (India) Ltd (ENIL), which operates Radio Mirchi. ENIL is also an applicant for the current auction. At the time, ENIL managing director Prashant Pandey had said that the acquisition is part of the company’s overall expansion plans and that they will also participate in the Phase III FM auctions.

Also Read: The Lowdown: India’s Phase III FM auctions

Image source: Flickr user Marite Toledo